Missing Cape Town school girl found

2010-11-11 13:41

Cape Town – The 17-year-old girl from Noluthando School for the Deaf in Khayelitsha who went missing on Tuesday has been found in a hospital, the Western Cape education department said on Thursday.

“A member of the public, after hearing about reports of her disappearance on radio, contacted the police and informed them that they suspected the learner could be in Tygerberg Hospital,” said spokeswoman Bronagh Casey.

“Initial reports indicate that Lumka was admitted to hospital after she was involved in a taxi accident on Tuesday morning.

“It is alleged that she was knocked down by the taxi and was admitted to Tygerberg Hospital, sustaining minor injuries.”

Lumka Lengisi was only reported missing hours after she got off a school bus on the school premises on Tuesday morning.

Deputy principal of the school, Clive Bester, said a teacher’s aid had escorted a group of children off the bus and into a classroom at about 8am.

When the aid returned to the bus to collect Lengisi she could not find her and assumed she had followed the other children into the classroom, Bester said.

This was not communicated to the class teacher and Lengisi was marked absent. School authorities only realised she was missing at 1pm that day and alerted the police.

Police spokeswoman Captain Anneke van der Vyver said a member of the public remembered witnessing a taxi accident on Tuesday in which he thought the girl was involved.

“This man said he saw a girl in a school uniform involved in this accident [on Faure street in Mfuleni] ... We don’t know how he knew the girl was taken to Tygerberg Hospital.”

The girl had the mental capacity of a 2-year-old and “moved very slowly”, Van der Vyver said.

“We had already checked the hospitals but maybe she wasn’t on the hospital records yet. We are still investigating that.”

Van de Vyver said the police took Lengisi’s parents to the hospital on Thursday midday and the girl was positively identified.

“The taxi driver was arrested at the scene of the accident and is in custody.”

Casey said the education department would “fully investigate the circumstances that led to her disappearance and will ensure, as far as possible, that this situation is never again repeated”.

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